Discrimination and violence against LBTI Women: UN Committee recommended Russia to adopt anti-discrimination legislation and to conduct trainings for the police

On November 20, 2015, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women made recommendations to the Russian Federation, including some on the status of lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LBTI) women in Russia.

The Committee noted that local and federal laws prohibiting "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations to minors" (the so-called “Propaganda laws”) might reinforce homophobia in the country and worsen the status of women. First, it concerns hate speeches, attacks and discrimination against lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex women. The Committee also expressed concerns about the dismissal of teachers who belong to the LBTI-community.

Thereby, the Committee recommended Russia to provide necessary protection to LBTI-women from discrimination and violence. In particular, through the adoption of anti-discrimination legislation and revision of existing laws. The Committee believes that this should provide LBTI-women with protection from intersectional discrimination. It was also recommended to conduct appropriate trainings for law enforcement officers, to start a wide public campaign to break down social prejudices, and to take measures to ensure that LBTI women are not facing discrimination in the professional life.

In a five-year period, the Russian Federation has to provide a new report on the implementation of the provisions of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, as well as on the implementation of the recommendations made on the current session. In other words, Russian officials will have to report, which measures are taken to protect the rights of LBTI-women during the five years period.

It is to be recalled that on October 27, 2015, the Russian Federation held a Constructive dialogue with the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, where the experts and Russian officials discussed the status of women in Russia and the measures undertaken to achieve gender equality. The Committee representatives also considered the alternative report, which was prepared by the Union of Independent LGBT activists of Russia and was dedicated to the discrimination and violence against LBT women. The data for the alternative report were provided by three Russian organizations: LGBT Initiative Group Coming Out, Transgender Legal Defense Project and the Russian LGBT Network.